CLOSING EVENT BIEFF 2013: Edward Hopper's Paintings Come to Life in Gustav Deutsch's SHIRLEY – VISIONS OF REALITY

At the Closing Ceremony of its 2013 edition, BIEFF presents the Romanian premiere of the latest film signed by the renowned Austrian visual artist GUSTAV DEUTSCH, SHIRLEY – VISIONS OF REALITY. The special screening will take place in the presence of the filmmaker at Cinema Studio, on Sunday, the 15th of December, and is possible thanks to the kind support of: the Austrian Cultural Forum, the Romanian distributor Clorofilm and the international sales agent Eastwest Distribution.


A treat for both cinema and visual art lovers, world premiered at Berlinale 2013, SHIRLEY – VISIONS OF REALITY is a unique cinematic event, a fascinating dialogue both between painting and cinema and between personal and political history. An homage to the iconic American painter Edward Hopper, the film brings to life by cinematic means 13 of his paintings, to tell the story of a woman whose thoughts, emotions and contemplations let us observe an era in American history. Through a series of breath-taking tableaux vivants that skillfully recreate Hopper's visual universe, DEUTSCH reveals the inherent cinematic and narrative qualities of the American painter’s work. (TRAILER)


After its premiere at Berlinale, the film received critical acclaim and had an impressive festival career, being screened at prestigious festivals and museums worldwide, such as Karlovy Vary 2013, Melbourne 2013 or Viennale 2013.



According to The Hollywood Reporter: “the experimental artist GUSTAV DEUTSCH scores a remarkable success in reproducing 13 of Hopper’s most famous oil paintings on film, setting off his own meticulous production design with the brilliant lighting by cinematographer Jerzy Palacz. […] An impressive cinematic recreation of images and moods for Hopper cognoscenti, it more controversially puts the American realist’s work in a social, political and cultural context.” (Deborah Young)


The film follows the life of Shirley, a liberated “woman in America in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, and early 60s. A woman who would like to influence the course of history with her professional and socio-political involvement, who does not accept the reality of the Depression years, WWII, the McCarthy era, race conflicts and civil rights campaigns as given, but rather as generated and adjustable. A woman whose work as an actress has familiarized her with the staging of reality, the questioning and shaping of it; an actress who doesn’t identify her purpose and future with that of solo success or stardom, but who strives to give social potency to theatre as part of a collective. A woman who cannot identify with the traditional role model of a wife yet longs to have a life partner.” (GUSTAV DEUTSCH)



GUSTAV DEUTSCH is one of the most prominent names of the Austrian contemporary avant-garde and one of the key filmmakers of the international experimental cinema scene. His extravagant, highly playful and often humorous “remixes” of film history reflect the quest for a “sensual comprehension” of the cinematic language and for an understanding of the ways in which cinema, history and individual lives are intertwined. Member of the international artists’ group Der Blaue Kompressor – Floating & Stomping Company (DBK) and artistic director of the Aegina Academy in Athens, DEUTSCH has received recognition along the time for works such as FILM IST. A GIRL & A GUN (Honorable Mention – Viennale 2009), FILM IST (7-12) (Best Editing Award – Ann Arbor Film Festival 2003), FILM IST (1-6) (Main Prize – Ann Arbor 2000) or TASCHENKINO and FILM IST MEHR ALS (awarded at Viennale 1996).


The 4th edition of BIEFF will take place between December 11th and 15th, at Cinema Studio and Cinema Elvira Popescu, and is organized with the support of the National Cinema Centre, the National University of Theatre and Film, the National University of Arts, Le Fresnoy – Studio National Des Arts Contemporains, UCIN, British Council, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Rule of Law Program South-East Europe of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, the Austrian Cultural Forum, the Romanian Cultural Institute, the French Institute in Bucharest, Goethe-Institut, JTI, Dacia, Jameson, Noumax, 360 Revolution, Hotel Marshal, Lente Cafe.


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